Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Second Day, Second Shopping Trip

My second day of Brown, and it’s a reasonable hour, so I’m happy to go into details.

The class is pretty fun. I’m not exactly a hardcore feminist (I mean, of course I support women’s rights, and want rights for women who don’t have any, but sometimes they take it too far) but it’s interesting.

To be honest, the reading can be very repetitive at times, and the work is very easy, but it is thought provoking, and I’m excited to start work on my action plan.

I want to help raise money for expecting Peruvian mothers, which is a cause I learned about in Peru, and it hits me very close to home, as my time in Iquitos and Belen showed me just how some of the poor people live. It was an eye-opening experience, and I’m glad to be in a place where I can put that experience to use.

The girls in the class are all incredibly intelligent and well-spoken, and it’s great to be in a class with women I can respect. The teacher, while more enthusiastic than I’m used too, is nice, open, and encouraging, so nobody feels bad speaking their mind.

The most extraordinary part of this experience is meeting new people. I have met countless international students, and they all are well-mannered, polite, open to meeting new people, and so much fun to be around.

You literally just have to stop somebody who’s walking past you on the street and say, “Hey where are you from?” and you’ll get a response and a new friend. I’ve never been in a situation like that before. There are certainly challenges, like the fact that many European countries have different laws regarding cigarette smoke, so for somebody like me, who doesn’t like the smell, it can be hard talking to people sometimes. But they’re all polite, like I said, and usually ask if you mind them smoking before actually doing it.

It’s only my second day, but I rarely eat in the dining halls. V. Dub is the best by far—it’s air-conditioned, the food is supremely superior, and I’ve met a lot of cool people there. Still, it’s not amazing, and we’re in the habit of bringing food to the dining halls and just getting our drinks and snacks/fruit there.

Overall, I absolutely adore it, and I know I’m going to be so sad when I have to leave. As I write this, I’m in Erica’s room, who’s quickly become my best friend here, and we go shopping together, eat together, and make friends together. One of the most unexpected things is that I’ve made friends with two people who live back home, so I won’t have to leave everybody when the course is over.

With that, I do want a good night’s sleep, so this is me signing off.

1 comment:

  1. Mariana,

    On a recent trip to Temple Square in Salt Lake City (ask Lydia about it) there were dozens of 'guides' available to tell the tourists (me) about the Mormon church and Temple Square.

    They used a great icebreaking technique that would come in handy in courses like you're taking.

    Each of these guides had a name badge on but below their name was the flag of the country they were from and the name of the country. Whenever they would come up to greet you, the first thing out of their mouths was "And where are you from?"

    Everyone is from somewhere and this was a great way to open things up and make new friends. I made a lot of friends there in the five days I was there.